13th December 2015

Expressway to Jaffna through Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Three mega road projects to be launched next year, trip to Kandy in 75 minutesBy Damith Wickremasekara Three mega expressway projects, including one to the north through Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee, will be launched next year, officials said yesterday. Funding for the projects estimated to cost US$ 13.4 billion (Rs. 1,900 billion) will come from multiple sources including China, the Asian Development Bank and local avenues, Road Development Authority Director General M.P.K.L Gunaratne told the Sunday Times. He said the expressway to the Central Province will be the first to be started in March next year, followed by the expressway between Kahathuduwa and Pelmadulla and then the northern project.The northern expressway would start from Dambulla and cut across Polonnaruwa, Kantale, Trincomalee and Mullaitivu to reach Jaffna. […]

Tamil Parliamentary Group seeks clarification on UK’s funding to SL

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London Siobhain McDonagh, Senior Vice Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils in the British Parliament, has sought a clarification from Foreign Minister Hugo Swires on how the £6.6m funding the British government has granted to Sri Lanka will be spent. In a letter, the Group has expressed concern over the money allocated for Sri Lanka’s military reforms as the country’s army has been accused of “war crimes”. The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Tamils has also expressed their displeasure over the Sri Lankan government’s failure to fully implement the UNHRC recommendations. The letter was also co-signed by MPs Joan Ryan, John Mann, Stephen Pound, Steve Reed, Wes Streeting and Stephen Timm

What of attacks on Tamil journalists in the North? -TNA MP

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

The owner of the Uthayan newspaper, Tamil National Alliance member and parliamentarian E Saravanbavan queried as to why the Government was only investigating the murder of editor Lasantha Wickrematunga and disappearance of cartoonist Pargeeth Eknaligoda and not the attacks on scribes in the North. While addressing Parliament yesterday, he commended the Government’s move to make sound progress on the two incidents but cited that there must also be a concerted effort to investigate incidents of attacks on journalists from the North and East. He said several such incidents had taken place in the North during the former regime where there was a strong military presence. The International Federation of Journalists last year inquired about the attack on journalist Sinnarasa Sivakumaran who was targeted at Kilinochchi […]

Two Tamil prisoners resume hunger strike

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

by P. Krishnasway Two disgruntled prisoners at the Welikada Magazine prison resumed their third day’s fast last week and more are expected to follow, demanding that the government keeps its promise on their early release, prison sources said. This follows one month after Tamil prisoners in detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) called off their nine-day fast-unto-death, The second fast-unto-death staged by the Tamil prisoners in prisons across the country called off their fast on November 17 on the assurance given by Prisons Reforms, Rehabilitation, Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Minister D.M.Swaminathan in the presence of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) frontliners, including its Jaffna parliamentarian M.A.Sumanthiran. Murugiah Komagan and Sivarajah Jeneeban are the two prisoners who resumed the fast demanding their unconditional and […]

US and India Displeased With North Lankan CM Wigneswaran

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: Super Power United States as well as Regional Power India are none too happy with the political conduct of C.V.Wigneswaran, the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-majority Northern Province. US and Indian envoys have directly conveyed to him their concern that his unhelpful and radical posturing could jeopardize the Lankan government’s bid to find an amicable solution to the long-standing Tamil question. Last Thursday, Indian High Commissioner Y.K.Sinha met Wigneswaran and urged him not to split the moderate Tamil National Alliance (TNA) but instead cooperate with the leaders of the TNA such as R.Sampanthan, M.A.Sumanthiran and Mavai Senathirajah in engaging the Lankan government to find a solution to the Tamil problem when there is light at the end of the tunnel. Wigneswaran told Sinha […]

Compensation soon for 44 slain media persons: PM

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe yesterday suggested a compensation scheme for families of journalists and other media persons killed while on duty. Mr. Wickremesinghe speaking during the committee stage budget debate on the allocation for the Ministry of Mass Media and Parliamentary Affairs said a compensation plan would be implemented for 44 media persons, who were killed during the period of the former regime due to political reasons. A majority of them were from the North. The Premier said President Maithripala Sirisena was also supporting the compensation plan which would be implemented soon. He praised media organisations and journalists, especially in the North, for the continuous struggle to provide information to the people despite regular threats during the previous regime. Mr. Wickremesinghe said he believed working […]

Web Terrorists operating from Colombo-London – More details reveal

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

A ‘Ransom Mafia’ that came into existence during Mahinda Rajapaksa’s tenure in office ripped off rich business tycoons and other reputed persons. The mafia was peaking during the ethnic war and it made use of defence and security units to flourish. Some Tamil businessmen who feared losing their trade and being branded as ‘Tigers’ had no second thoughts about parting with in millions to appease the mafia. They offered millions to mafia members for the sake of their reputation. That was the only option they had as their complaints were ignored by the authorities. But this mafia disappeared after the Rajapaksa regime was ousted. The mobs withdrew with the fear of being arrested because their victims hesitated no more to go to the new authorities […]

Wigneswaran Assures India of Tamil National Alliance’s Unity

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

COLOMBO: The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-dominated Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has assured India that the differences in the  Tamil National Alliance (TNA) will be ironed out and that unity will be maintained to enable the Tamils to secure their rights in Sri Lanka. This assurance was given to the Indian High Commissioner in Lanka, Y.K.Sinha, when he had a two-hour meeting Chief Minister Wigneswaran in Jaffna on December 10. Sinha was on a three-day tour of the Northern Province which ended on Saturday. Briefing the media on his talks with the High Commissioner, Wigneswaran said that the envoy expressed concern over internal dissensions in the TNA and said that such dissensions could be used by the majority community to deny the Tamils their rights […]

Sri Lanka vs Human Rights: More To Be Done

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

y Easwaran Rutnam As International Human Rights Day was commemorated last Thursday, a top UN official said that there were encouraging signs that Sri Lanka will deal with human rights concerns related to the war but the new government was not willing to go all the way. Christof Heyns, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said that for him Sri Lanka stands out as the most defining moment when carrying out his mandate in 2015. “To me, the case of Sri Lanka stands out. And the resolution that has been taken in Geneva about that, in many cases, I think one has a situation where there are large scale killings, violence, and with this impunity, and for some time it […]

Government Should Adopt Conditions That Were Laid Out By UNHRC – Selvam Adaikalanathan

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

By Camelia Nathaniel The Tamil Eelam Liberation Organisation (TELO), a constituent party of the Tamil National Alliance, had announced earlier that it would not back the 2016 budget in parliament unless the Tamil political prisoners were freed. Leader of TELO and Deputy Chairman of Committees in Parliament, MP Selvam Adaikalanathan had also informed the TNA of his decision. However the  Tamil National Alliance, and its coalition of parties including TELO, backed the second reading of the 2016 budget. In an interview with The Sunday Leader, Adaikalanathan said the 13th Amendment to the Constitution must be fully implemented with powers fully devolved to the Northern provinces. Following are excerpts of the interview; Q:The TNA was complaining that the previous government had not allocated enough funds for […]

Parliament storms over Thajudeen probe, SLFP in-fighting

13th December 2015 // 0 Comments

Parliament storms over Thajudeen probe, SLFP in-fighting Siripala-Welgama slanging match : Police bigwigs under probe: CCTV shows Thajudeen escape attempt: The SLFP’s in-fighting reached a new height last week with the party’s top rung leaders lashing out at each other in public over what happened under the previous administration. A heated verbal battle in Parliament between Transport Minister and former Opposition Leader Nimal Siripala de Silva and UPFA Kalutara District MP Kumara Welgama was nothing but a demonstration of the hostile dynamics prevailing within the SLFP, now led by President Maithripala Sirisena. It all began when Transport Minister de Silva criticized the conduct of his predecessor while talking about the EPF funds of the SLTB in Parliament on Wednesday. The Transport Minister charged that the […]